Apple smoked tofu and caramelized onion spring rolls with carrot tamarind chutney and avocado aioli

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      Editor’s note: What follows is a set of recipes from Mérida Anderson’s new cookbook, Vegan Secret Supper.

      Smoky and sweet flavors are paired here with cool and creamy avocado and spicy carrots.

      Makes about 15 spring rolls.

      Avocado aioli

      • 1/2 avocado
      • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
      • 1 tsp lime juice
      • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
      • 1 tsp tahini
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
      • 1 tbsp water
      • 2 tbsp olive oil
      • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
      • 1 garlic clove, minced
      • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

      In a blender or food processor, combine avocado, cilantro, lime juice, mustard, tahini, salt, black pepper, and water and blend until smooth. Slowly add oil and blend until emulsified. Stir in jalapeño, garlic, and chopped cilantro.

      Makes 2/3 cup (160 mL).

      Apple smoked tofu and caramelized onion spring rolls

      • 2 tsp refined coconut or grapeseed oil
      • 1 cup thinly sliced onions, sliced lengthwise
      • 1 tsp tamari
      • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) julienned smoked tofu
      • 1 cup (250 mL) julienned Granny Smith apple
      • 15 vegan spring roll wrappers
      • vegetable oil, enough to cover bottom of pot or deep fryer, at least 2-1/2-in (6.5-cm) deep

      In a frying pan on medium heat, melt oil. Add onions and cook for 3–5 minutes covered, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add tamari and vinegar and continue to cook with the lid on, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, reducing heat if onions begin to burn. Remove from heat when onions are soft and caramelized.

      In a bowl, mix onions, tofu, and apples. Place a spring roll wrapper on a wooden cutting board diagonally, so it forms a diamond shape. Place roughly 2 tbsp onion mixture on bottom corner of wrapper. Roll wrapper straight up and away from you to halfway point, then fold in sides and continue to roll. Dampen edges to seal. Set aside and cover with a damp tea towel. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.

      In a deep fryer or pot, heat vegetable oil to 375˚F (190˚C). Add spring rolls, 2 or 3 at a time, being careful not to crowd pot. Fry for about 90 seconds, turn over, and fry for another 90 seconds, until golden. Drain on paper towels.

      To plate:

      • Carrot Tamarind Chutney (see below)

      Cut each spring roll in half on a diagonal. Plate with 1 tbsp each aioli and chutney.

      Carrot tamarind chutney

      This spicy chutney is nicely complemented by the sweetness of the carrots.

      Makes 2 cups (500 mL).

      • 1 tbsp refined coconut oil
      • 1 medium onion, chopped
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
      • 1/2 habañero pepper, seeded and chopped, or 1 tbsp
      • habañero or Scotch bonnet hot sauce
      • 2 medium carrots, chopped
      • 3 tbsp tamarind paste/concentrate
      • 1 tbsp agave nectar
      • 3/4 cup (185 mL) stock (see cookbook)

      In a medium pot on medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add onions and salt and cook until onions are translucent.

      Add garlic, habañero peppers, and carrots and cook for another 2 minutes, until carrots are softened. Add tamarind, agave, and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

      In a food processor or blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Be careful when blending hot liquids. Store in a well-sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.